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Is the Stock Market Getting Pumped Up by the January Effect?

Are company buybacks increasing stock values?

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The stock market followed up its monster Friday last week with a decent rally today, though enthusiasm waned in the afternoon. The two day surge lends hope to the idea that a "January effect" -- when investors often buy back into stocks -- may be taking place.

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The Dow and S&P 500 indexes ended the day up 0.42 percent and 0.7 percent respectively. The Nasdaq composite index rose 1.26 percent. The Entrepreneur Index™ was up 1.86 percent, with technology and retail stocks leading the way.

Netflix continues to recover from its horrible second half last year. After jumping nearly ten percent on Friday, it was up another 5.98 percent today -- the second biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™. The stock is still down 16 percent from a high set last June, but is up a remarkable 35 percent since bottoming on Christmas Eve.


Tech stocks as a whole are back in favor with investors. Chipmaker NVIDIA Corp. was up 5.31 percent. The market leader for high-end graphics semiconductor chips was crushed at the end of last year, falling 57 percent from the beginning of October to Christmas. It is up 16 percent since then. Other tech stocks with big gains today included Twitter (4.64 percent), (3.41 percent) and (3.07 percent).

The retail stocks were also up sharply today, buoyed by the strong U.S. jobs numbers reported last Friday and by optimism on trade talks between China and the U.S. that resumed in Beijing this week. Gap Inc. and L Brands were up 4.65 percent and 4.2 percent respectively.

Discount retailer Dollar Tree Inc. was up 5.46 percent after activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP announced a large stake in the company. The hedge fund has nominated seven directors to the company's board and hopes to push Dollar Tree management to sell the Family Dollar business it bought in 2015. Family Dollar stores continue to underperform the rest of the business.

Chipotle Mexican Grill had the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™ today, rising 6.62 percent. The restaurant chain is now up twelve percent on the year and 25 percent since Christmas Eve. Other big gains were posted by oil and gas producer Hess Corp. (4.82 percent) and car-maker Tesla (5.46 percent). Both stocks have also rebounded strongly from sharp falls toward the end of last year.

Only 11 of 60 stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ were down on the day and just two fell by more than one percent.

Telecom giant Comcast was down 1.06 percent, while Intercontinental Exchange, owner of the New York Stock Exchange, fell by 3.03 percent. The drop came after a group of large Wall Street banks and investors, including Morgan Stanley, Fidelity Investments and Citadel Securities LLC, announced plans to launch a new exchange to compete with the NYSE and Nasdaq marketplaces. The consortium cited the exchanges' high fees for public market data as the reason for launching the new venture.

The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on

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